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  1. #1
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    The Case for Starting Both Tyrique and Hankins

    I would like to make a case for starting both Tyrique and Hankins.

    Right now through our first three games, we are running a platoon at center. One guy goes out and the other comes in. Together the two big men average 39.3 minutes a game. All in all, it is a productive 39.3 minutes...

    Combined Stats
    Minutes = 39.3
    Points = 23.6
    Rebounds = 15
    FG% = 64.4%

    Those are great numbers. Out of the five positions, it is our most productive both offensively and defensively. I like what I am seeing out of both young men. I may want Zach to start, but I don't want it to be at the expense of Tyrique.

    This team is not deep. That is no secret. If you look at average minutes, these two productive players come at 6th (Tyrique) at 21 minutes a game, and 7th (Hankins) at 18.3 minutes a game.

    Hankins only has 18.3 minutes a game because Tyrique was in foul trouble against Wisconsin. He played 27 solid minutes. The previous game he only had 11 minutes, and 8 other players had more minutes. Through our first two games, Zach Hankins was 9th in minutes played. Should Zach Hankins be 9th on the depth chart on a team that isn't even 9 deep? That is madness.

    The fact is, Zach Hankins played 27 solid minutes against Wisconsin, and I think he could play 27 minutes every game. He averaged 27 minutes a game last year in Division II, played 30 in the title game, and played 26 in a very close game at Michigan State last year. He had 4 fouls, 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in an 8 point loss at MSU. Izzo himself tried to get him as our competition.

    The kid can play. He is well rounded and does a bit of everything, scores, rebounds, blocks shots, plays on both sides of the ball. Zach can throw it down in inspiring ways. Zach Hankins can be an exceptional big man for us. What is more, he is a true center. Tyrique on the other hand, it a true power forward. These guys were meant to play together. It isn't going to be twin towers, it is going to be what a classic basketball team is supposed to look like.

    Look at some stats:

    In Field Goal %, they are 1st and 2nd on the team.
    In points per minute, they are 1st and 2nd on the team.
    In Rebounds they are 1st and 3rd on the team.
    In Rebounds per minute they are 1st and 2nd on the team.
    In blocks they are 1st and 2nd on the team.

    In case you didn't read that last bit, I would like to ram it home by saying it again.

    In the major statistical categories of FG%, Points, Rebounds and Blocks, Tyrique and Zach are better on a per minute played basis than every other player on the team. Statistically dominant. The numbers do not lie.

    If you started both these young men and played them together for the first five minutes of each half, and then went back to the platoon you would increase their combined playing time from 40 minutes to 50 minutes a game. I believe doing this would positively impact our scoring, defense, rebounding, field goal percentage and the blocking of shots. People have been bemoaning our defense, our being out rebounded, and how the offense breaks down. Guess what, I have an answer!

    50 minutes from 40 would be a huge improvement in my humble opinion. And it isn't like Tyrique isn't in the best shape of his career. He played 29 minutes against Evansville and had a monster game. And we just saw Zach play 27 well against Whisky. These kids can play.

    We need to have our best players on the court for the maximum amount of minutes that they can play effectively.

    Wisconsin was a tough loss, but it is November. Could it have been different? If you start Zach and put him on their Big, maybe Tyrique doesn't get into foul trouble. Having two bigs in the game gives you flexibility to slide one over to protect him if he has picked up a foul or two. It also poses matchup problems for the other team. Both those guys can score, but only one of them will be up against the other teamís best big man.

    We may have lost the battle against Whisky, but we are going to win the war. Whisky was the coming out party of Zach Hankins. The days of him being 9th on the Xavier depth chart are over. They have to be.

    We can't afford to have him on the bench. We have a Title to defend.


    DEFEND THE TITLE!!!
    RIP Brian Dargin McCormick

  2. #2
    Supporting Member X-man's Avatar
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    I totally agree, and have been saying this since I saw practice before the season began. Hankins doesn't foul, and is in the best condition of anyone on the team. No problem with him on the floor. Jones might need breaks from time to time, but he is in better shape...just needs to watch his fouling tendency. I think these two guys give us an incredible inside presence on both ends of the court. It would be the new Hill and Strong show.
    Xavier always goes to the NCAA tournament...Projecting anything less than that this season feels like folly--Eamonn Brennan, ESPN (Summer Shootaround, 2012)

  3. #3
    You are spot on! This was brought up in another thread and was quickly shot down by some here citing Jones would struggle to play out of his position. Of course opinions here don't matter. Until Coach Steele comments on why we don't see them together more, it will remain a head scratcher.
    Last edited by Xuperman; 11-15-2018 at 06:41 AM.
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  4. #4
    Sophomore Lloyd Braun's Avatar
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    Jones has a better outside shot than people realize and for this to work and not clog the lane for Q/Scruggs he would have to take and make some outside shots. That is the only way this works. Welage would have to be a wing in this lineup unless you can count on Naji or Scruggs to hit a high rate of 3s. Real estate becomes a premium with both Jones and MckSpanky together.

  5. #5
    Hall of Famer GoMuskies's Avatar
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    Didn't read the whole thing, but if both start there are going to be times when both have to be on the bench. What is the plan for those stretches?

  6. #6
    Supporting Member X-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoMuskies View Post
    Didn't read the whole thing, but if both start there are going to be times when both have to be on the bench. What is the plan for those stretches?
    And why is that, exactly? Are these guys bound at the hip or something?
    Xavier always goes to the NCAA tournament...Projecting anything less than that this season feels like folly--Eamonn Brennan, ESPN (Summer Shootaround, 2012)

  7. #7
    Hall of Famer GoMuskies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-man View Post
    And why is that, exactly? Are these guys bound at the hip or something?
    Well, I guess theoretically one of them could be out there at all times, but if that's the case they won't be playing together very often. So then what would be the point of starting both anyway?

  8. #8
    Sophomore XUGRAD80's Avatar
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    It is an interesting idea, and one I’ve had also. However, how do you practice it? The roster is so thin in that area, how could you test it in practice against any real competition? Perhaps they should try it out in some games against some lesser competition for a few minutes and see how it works. It worked pretty good in the past with some other players. I just wish they had one more player that could fill the role for 5-8 minutes a game.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GoMuskies View Post
    if both start there are going to be times when both have to be on the bench. What is the plan for those stretches?
    It all comes down to Jones being versatile enough to play an effective "4".....If he can, Welage would come off the bench when bench time is warranted for Tyrique. When Zach is on the bench, Jones slides over to his normal position.
    Last edited by Xuperman; 11-15-2018 at 08:23 AM.
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  10. #10
    Sophomore Caf's Avatar
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    The only point I can think of that hasn't already been mentioned is defense. So far our 3pt defense has been non existent. If a team has a 4 who plays outside we'd be even more screwed on that front than we already are.

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